My interview with Patricia McCormick, in Publishing Perspectives

Monday, October 29, 2012

On this dark and windy (and quite wet) day, I'm so proud to have my interview with Patricia McCormick featured in Publishing Perspectives.  Patty, newly and justly nominated for the National Book Award for Never Fall Down, talks here about the making of this incredibly important book.  The interview begins like this, below, and can be read in its entirety here.  I interviewed Patty long before her book was nominated, by the way.  I just had a feeling.

Anyone who confuses young adult literature with simple kids’ stuff has not read Patricia McCormick. A former journalist with an investigator’s eye and an astute sense of social justice, McCormick’s novels for younger readers have taken her into a residential treatment center (Cut), the harrowing world of sexual slavery in India (Sold), the Iraq War (Purple Heart), and the killing fields of Cambodia (Never Fall Down).  McCormick wants us to know; she wants us to see.  She wants to teach us something about this world, but she is no sermonizer.  She’s a poet, in fact, this Patricia McCormick, writing of split worlds with lacerating precision, daring prose, and devastating beauty.

McCormick’s most recent book, the National Book Award finalist Never Fall Down (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins), is a collaboration — a novel inspired by the real life of Arn Chorn-Pond. Swept into the Khmer Rouge’s brutal reeducation program, separated from his family in a series of labor camps, and bullied into being someone he might have never imagined could exist, Arn nonetheless survives, thanks in part to his talent for music and his refusal to lay down and die. Arn does not emerge from the book as an innocent. His shame is palpable, his losses many. As his interviewer, friend, and fellow traveler, McCormick’s greatest gift to Arn is the gift she has always brought her readers—her faith in the truth.


patti.mallett_pp said...

This book has jumped to the top of my "get" list. Thanks so much for the introduction!!

Plus, we are so happy to know you're okay - dry and safe and well, Beth. xo

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